Venice Art Biennale 2019 and African countries have started to set up national pavilions at the popular Venice Biennale lately which becomes the world capital of contemporary Art for afew months at least. Though only 8 of 54 African nations were represented in national pavilions in the 57th Venice Art Biennale 2019. The 58th Biennale starting next month will see an improvement on this number with even Ghana having a Pavilion for the first time at the Venice Biennale. The Ghanaian pavilion which will be located in the Artiglierie of the historic Arsenale, will be designed by the prominent UK-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, who is working on a number of cultural initiatives aimed at boosting the profile of the west African country.
Ghana participating is significant here given that Africa’s record Artist El natsui will be showing his works on the Ghana Pavalion alongside John Akomfrah and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
The Ghana pavilion exhibition—entitled Ghana Freedom after E.T. Mensah’s song marking the country’s independence in 1957—is “rooted both in Ghanaian culture and its diasporas”, says a project statement. The initiative is supported by the country’s ministry of tourism, arts and culture; Okwui Enwezor, the former artistic director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, is a “strategic advisor”.
The pavilion curator is the film-maker Nana Oforiatta Ayim. At a briefing held at the British Museum earlier this month, she discussed plans for a new culture complex at Osu Castle in Accra designed by Adjaye. The British Museum symposium focused on new museum projects in West Africa, touching on issues linked to restitution.
Felicia Abban at Ghana Pavilion at venice biennale 2019